SFF 2017 review: 78/52

78/52 is, as the director announced before my screening, “the first film ever made about a single scene”. If so, that sub-category has a pretty sound record.

78/52 is an entire documentary dedicated to the famous shower sequence from Hitchcock’s masterpiece; Psycho.

The film explores the scene’s techniques, it’s impact on cinema, it’s impact on the audience, the audience’s mind, the general making-of and of course, it’s legacy in popular culture which stands today.

The director of the film (Alexandre O. Philippe) and editor John Venzon giving a Q&A after the screening.

As far as documentaries about film go, it’s one of the best I’ve seen. I saw the doco Hitchcock/Truffaut and found it enjoyable but not all that educational. As a film buff watching a film on film, I wanted to learn. And although you may not watch 78/52 and instantly know all the tricks to crafting a masterwork, you will definitely pick up on bucketloads of information to look out for on your next viewing.

In terms of editing, it’s pristine. Obviously it pales in comparison to the scene in question but then again, everything would, and 78/52 makes that very clear.


I feel that 78/52 will succeed for all viewers as even I, a self-certified cinephile, was educated on a film I thought I knew a lot about… but it turns out I knew nothing. But if you watch this without having watched Psycho then immediately do so and also… how could you? It’s been out for 57 years and you haven’t seen Psycho? BLASPHEMY!

3.5 / 5  screeching strings

What did you think of 78/52? What did you think of Psycho? AND WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU HAVEN’T SEEN PSYCHO?

Whatever your thoughts, leave a comment below and don’t forget to like the Facebook page to keep the site going!

78/52 is playing at the Sydney Film Festival again on the 12th of June at Dendy Opera Quays and if you want to catch tickets, you’ll want to head over to the SFF site here.

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